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Wicomico pushes back land decision

Wicomico pushes back land decision

SALISBURY, Md. - County leaders are weighing whether they should accept a gift of free land.

Officials say they are prepared to wait another two weeks before making a decision on more than 200 acres, because they want more information.

The property is worth over $1 million dollars and sits on a sprawling 234 acres. 

Despite the value and size of the gift, county leaders say they want an environmental assessment done to find out exactly what they'd be taking on , if they accept the donation. 

On the surface this property near the Henry Parker Athletic Complex seems like a bargain.  

County council president, John Cannon, says it remains to be seen how profitable taking on the parcel will be for Wicomico. 

 "Its a valuable piece of land. Its worth about a million dollars. You say its valuable but nothings really been done with it in so many years. The question is what exactly is the value of it to the county."

According to county leaders, this land, being donated by Connelly Mill Associates LLP hasn't been used for several years and that is actually part of their concern, says Cannon.. 

"Joe Holloway had suggested an environmental impact study be done which I think was a good suggestion. Just wanna make sure that there's not any type of encumbrances that would um that would become a detriment."

If the county council is satisfied with the results of the land study, the property could be used as a public space.

 "It may only be a fit for a county because that's the niche for this piece of property. Maybe low-impact recreation things like that."

Cannon says he thinks everyone is poised to move forward barring any surprises. 

"The last time we had a work session, we did take a consensus among the council and we had enough votes in favor of moving forward."

The county council was supposed to vote on the donated land at Tuesday's meeting but is pushing the matter back to the 19th, so they have the environmental study results. 

At that point, Cannon says there could be an opening down the road for the public to weigh in on how they'd like to see the land used. 

"For the most part, any time the county takes on a major project, they like to include the public so that they have their input." 

County officials have until the 29th to make a decision. 

Cannon says the corporation donating the land bought it years ago and hasn't been able to do anything with it. 

He thinks the move to donate will at least give Connelly Mill Associates LLP a tax benefit. 

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